Claim FAQ’s

Will my claim be covered?

It will depend on a number of factors: what coverage you purchased, what caused the loss or damage, and what property was lost or damaged, to name a few. If you are wondering if a particular loss or damage would be covered, please contact your agent.

Can I choose who will do repairs to my property?

Yes. In the event of a covered loss, your claims representative will work with your choice of vendor or contractor. However, it is usually best to select a local contractor or repair service; someone from the area, who is insured, bonded, carries workers compensation, liability and who gives you a written guarantee.

How should I choose a contractor?

We suggest that you seek out contractors who have a proven track record in your area. To help ensure that you choose a reliable contractor:

  1. Talk with friends, neighbors and relatives who have hired contractors.
  2. Get references from any contractor you interview, and check them.
  3. Contact your local Better Business Bureau for information about the contractors you are considering.
  4. Don’t sign a contract until you have reviewed it carefully and have agreed to payment terms.
  5. Verify that the contractor has an active license in your state. In many cases, you’ll be able to check right on your state’s website.

Will repairs be done properly and workmanship guaranteed?

By choosing your own contractor, you manage their work and ensure that the repairs meet your standards.

Do I need to file a police report for property damage or loss due to theft?

Yes. If the loss involves Civil Commotion, Vehicles, Vandalism, or Theft, you will need to file a report with the proper authority.

When do I pay my deductible? To whom do I pay it?

Your deductible will be subtracted from the amount of your loss before we deliver your settlement payment. You will likely pay the amount of your deductible directly to your contractor once repairs are completed.

My home was damaged by a flood. Is the damage covered by my policy?

No. Our policies do not cover flood damage. If you purchased a separate flood insurance policy from the National Flood Insurance Program, the damages may be covered. Please speak with your NFIP agent to obtain more details.

Because of the damage, my home isn’t safe to live in. What do I do?

Your safety is priority number one! If you purchased additional living expenses coverage as part of your policy, and a covered loss makes your home uninhabitable, your policy will cover a reasonable increase in living costs to maintain your normal standard of living. However, some restrictions and limitations apply. Please speak with your agent or claims representative to verify this coverage.

What if I don’t have all the information about my loss right now? Should I wait to file a claim?

No. File your claim as soon as possible after your loss. Then, if you come across additional information that would help your claim representative with the claim, provide it to him or her at that time. We can even reopen a claim after it’s closed if you obtain information that might result in an additional payment to you. If you do not wish to file the claim we can simply close the file at that time.

What do you need to show proof of ownership for stolen property?

To prove that you owned property you are claiming as damaged / stolen, you may provide purchase receipts, owner’s manuals or product packaging, appraisals, or photographs of the items in your home.

Will my premium increase if I file a claim?

That will depend on your claims history, tenure – how long you have been with the company, and size, frequency, and type of previous claims.

Should I start making repairs before you inspect the damage?

We know you’re eager to start putting your home back together, but it’s best to wait until we’ve conducted our first on-site inspection. What you should do is protect your property from further damage, by covering broken windows, or gaps in the roof or exterior walls. This way, we can identify all the damages that may be covered by your policy, ensuring that you receive everything you are entitled to.

How can I monitor the status of my claim?

Feel free to contact your claim representative when you need a status update, and let that person know how often, or at which points in the process, you’d like to be updated. The claims representative will be in touch throughout the entire process until the claim is closed.

I have replacement cost coverage. Why did you show depreciation on the estimate?

If you purchased replacement cost coverage in your policy for the residence, we will make payments based on actual cash value until the residence is repaired or replaced in its entirety.

If you purchased replacement cost coverage in your policy for personal property we will cover the actual cost of repairing or replacing damaged, destroyed or stolen personal property with property of like kind and quality. We’ll make an initial payment based on the current value of that property; once you have repaired or replaced the covered item, we will pay an additional amount, up to the actual cost to repair or replace that property. Your claim representative can give you specific information about your claim.

What if my contractor finds additional damage once repairs are underway?

Contact your claims representative and report the additional damage; we’ll re-inspect and determine whether the damage is covered by your policy.

How will you handle my personal property claim?

If you purchased personal property coverage in your policy and your loss involves personal property, we’ll need a detailed list and description of all damaged, lost or stolen personal property. To download personal property inventory sheets, click here. Your claims representative will help you catalog all items, and will then evaluate that information to determine what is covered and to establish its value.

Why is my settlement check made payable to both me and my mortgage company? How do I get it endorsed so I can cash it to pay for repairs?

When you have a mortgage on your home, settlement checks typically are made payable to both you and your mortgagee, as required by the mortgagee. You’ll need to contact your mortgage company to find out how to obtain their endorsement on the check.

Hail damage, so what happens now?

Studies have shown that generally, hail must be 1 ¼ inches in diameter (Half-Dollar size) before it causes damage to heavy composite shingles or wood shake shingles. Lightweight composite shingles may show damage after being struck by 1-inch diameter (Quarter size) hail. Check the trees, shrubs, and plants around your house. If they are stripped of their foliage, there is a possibility that your roof is damaged. You should also check for roof damage if patio covers, screens, or soft aluminum roof vents are dented.

  1. If safe to do so . . . Cover any broken windows and holes in your roof so that no water can enter and damage your home’s interior.
  2. Please take all reasonable measures to protect your property. Have your roof tarped in any area that is leaking to prevent additional water damage.
  3. Make only temporary repairs. Your claims representative needs to look at the damage before permanent repairs can be authorized.
  4. If you filed a claim, your claim representative will contact you shortly. If the storm was wide spread we may have a large number of our policyholders who need assistance, it may take us a little longer to contact policyholders. We appreciate your patience.
  5. Allow only your insurance claims representative and the roofer you have selected to get up on your roof. Each time someone walks on it, more damage can occur.
  6. Be wary of out-of-town roofers who move into an area and set up shop following a storm. Select a company with established credibility and local references.
  7. Be sure the roofers are insured, bonded, have workers compensation and liability insurance. If they don’t, you may be held liable if one of the workers is injured or if they damage a neighbor’s property.

Water damage, so what happens now?

There is water everywhere—in your walls, under your carpets and soaking into your belongings. Whether caused by a burst pipe, frozen pipe, a broken water heater or a tub or toilet, there are things you can do immediately to salvage belongings and limit damage or loss.

  1. Stop the Water – If water is coming from inside your home, from a burst pipe or water heater malfunction, shut off the main water valve immediately. It’s a good idea to make sure everyone in your home knows where the shutoff valve is located.
  2. Turn Off the Utilities – In a serious water event, turning off the power or natural gas might be necessary to ensure the safety of yourself and your family. In the case of a minor water leak or drip, there probably isn’t a need to shut off the utilities.
  3. Prevent Electrocution – Do not use any electrical appliances if your carpet or flooring is wet. Use a wet vacuum to remove water, but check the manufacturer’s instructions before starting.
  4. File a Claim as Soon as Possible – The sooner you file a claim to report damage, the sooner we can help you get your home and life back to normal.
  5. Watch Out for Debris and Pests – If water is flowing in your house from an outside source there may be debris and other vermin seeking shelter in your home, so be aware and keep a watch out.
  6. Get Water Out Quickly – Fast and safe action on your part can prevent further damage, help you save more of your belongings and minimize the time and expense of repairs. Clean up as much water as possible by mopping or blotting with towels.
  7. Get Property to a Dry Location – Move wet belongings and furniture to a dry area. Put furniture on blocks or slide a square of aluminum foil under furniture legs to prevent the wood stain from bleeding into carpeting.
  8. Wipe Excess Water from Furniture – Open drawers and cabinet doors for faster drying. Spread out books to speed drying and prevent further damage.
  9. Remove Area Rugs from the Floor – The dyes in carpets can stain flooring, carpeting and wood floors.
  10. Use Fans to Circulate Air – Encourage drying by strategically placing fans to effectively circulate air. This is especially important in the first 24-48 hours after an indoor flood.
  11. Do Not Lift Tacked Down Carpet – Carpets can shrink after they’ve become wet and left to dry out. If you remove the tacks from wet wall-to-wall carpet, it will probably shrink after it dries out and no longer be wall-to-wall carpet. Consult a carpet specialist for help.
  12. Wash Your Clothes – Clean your clothing, linens and other washables that have been soaked as soon as possible.
  13. Don’t Throw Anything Out – Don’t throw out damaged belongings, especially expensive ones. A claims representative may need to inspect them. Also, make a thorough list of stuff that was water damaged as soon as you can. This will help us process your claim faster. It helps to document damage with photos and video. To download personal property inventory sheets, click here.
  14. Save Receipts – Save all receipts for any rental equipment, temporary repairs or payments to professional services.

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